Sigma’s Career Center: Starting point for the rest of your journey

By Lois S. Marshall | 07/23/2019

Take that first step at research congress in Calgary.

Sigma’s Career Center: Starting point for the rest of your journey

As you plan your schedule for INRC 2019, be sure to include time for an appointment with a career adviser so you can discuss burning questions you may have about your career path.

Lois MarshallAre you a member of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing (Sigma)? Do you ask yourself frequently: Where is my career going? What do I want to do next, and how do I get there? What’s the difference between all these degrees? Who am I at this point in my career?

As you read or listen to others, you may find yourself asking: I’ve never written a résumé; how do I put one together? What’s the difference between a résumé and a curriculum vitae? How do I transition from one clinical area to another? How do I get published? How do I write a grant, and is there someone who can help me with the process?

You can find answers for these and other questions by visiting a career adviser at Sigma’s on-site Career Center during the 30th International Nursing Research Congress (INRC) in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, 26-29 July 2019.           

Come see us!
Lois MarshallAs you plan your schedule for INRC 2019, be sure to include time for an appointment with a career adviser so you can discuss burning questions you may have about your career path. Or if you don’t want to schedule an appointment because you’re not sure when you’ll be available, no problem. Just walk up to the Career Center when you have a few minutes.

If you prefer to come with a friend, that’s fine, too. We don’t mind advising pairs or even small groups. We’re glad to provide in-person consultations about anything that’s career-related, no matter how long you’ve been a nurse or what position you currently have or want to transition to.         

I’m the Career Center’s lead adviser and will be joined by other Sigma members who volunteer as advisers. We are educators, researchers, clinicians, and administrators with global perspectives, diverse backgrounds, and varying years of experience who want to share our experience and expertise to assist you on your personal career journey.

We can help!
Our expertise is matched to your needs. If you need to develop either a short- or long-term career plan, we can help. We can answer your questions about degree options and other next steps—whether you’re a recent graduate, at mid-career, about to retire, or somewhere in between.

We can advise you on finding a mentor related to your need or interest. You might even find a mentor in one of us. Even if you think you have no questions—or don’t know what to ask or where to begin—we’re glad to talk with you, make recommendations, and suggest resources that will start you on your way to making the most of the rest of your career.           

Your career adviser will take notes and give you a copy to take home so that you can refer to the discussion later as you develop and manage your career. Ask your adviser if he or she will be available for future follow-up by phone, email, social media, or web calls. If not, you can always follow up with me personally or via the Career Advice Forum on The Circle.

Stay connected
Sigma’s Career Center: Starting point for the rest of your journeyI stay connected with many advisees, including those I met at the 25th International Nursing Research Congress in Hong Kong, the first time the Career Center was available at congress. Many members who consulted with us at past research congresses, biennial conventions, leadership conferences, or Creating Healthy Work Environment conferences return to talk with us and use our services. Numerous advisees have later served as advisers. For example, Carole Kulik, DNP, RN, ACNP, HCIC, has served as an adviser ever since she consulted with me at one of the first on-site Career Centers. Former advisee Eleanor Horton, PhD, RN, a resident of Australia and member of the Oceania Global Region, continues to work with the Career Center but now as an adviser.

At the 30th International Nursing Research Congress, you may find volunteers who are past and current members of Sigma’s board of directors. You never know who may end up as your adviser. Make a connection at the Career Center, and you’ll likely maintain it throughout your career. In fact, we encourage you to do just that.

An important part of developing and managing your career is creating networks, a process that often starts with a Career Center consultation. Whether you network with advisers or other advisees—or via the Career Advice Forum or other groups on The Circle—you can make a connection that will help you move forward on your career path. These relationships often continue via social media, and it’s always great to see what former advisees are doing with their careers as they share achievements and accomplishments. Many career advancements begin with the spark of an idea, a question, or a discussion with a Career Center adviser.

The saying “A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step” certainly applies to Sigma’s on-site Career Center. Take that first step by stopping in and getting your questions answered, and you’ll have a sounding board that will help guide you through the rest of your journey.

More resources
I hope you visit the Career Center whenever you are at a Sigma conference. And don’t fail to make use of the resources available on The Circle’s Career Center site. Whether you are posting questions for me or other member volunteers to answer, looking for mentoring opportunities (mentor or mentee), or searching for career-related resources, Sigma is the place for all your career needs. As a member, you can develop and direct your career path using global resources only this organization can provide. To stay current on exciting additions that become available, periodically check out the Career Center online at SigmaNursing.org.

Again, to take that next step, come to the on-site Career Center during congress this month in Calgary. Our hours are Friday, 26 July, 10 a.m. to noon and 1:30 to 4:30 p.m.; Saturday, 27 July, 8:30 a.m. to noon and 1:30 to 4:00 p.m.; and Sunday, 28 July, 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. Find our location on Sigma’s INRC 2019 app or on the map in your program guide. Timing for each appointment is determined by your needs, with most appointments lasting 30 minutes or less. Take this opportunity to take charge of your nursing career! RNL

Lois S. Marshall, PhD, MN, RN, a nurse education consultant and coordinator of the National Student Nurses’ Association’s Career Development Center, is lead adviser of Sigma’s Career Center.

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